I've ordered a new computer, and I'm looking for tips in terms of improving security. I use Avast Internet Security, Malware Bytes, Spybot S&D (Immunizations which come with it as well), Firefox 10 with Adblock+, Noscript, Web of Trust, and "warn me when pages try to redirect" checked in FF's configuration. I hear peerblock is good? Should I use that too?
Besides just not going on stupid sites which are rated red on WoT, do you have any other tips I can use to improving my new computer's security?
Also, I'm going to be creating a dual boot between W7 and Linux MINT. Should I need to use an anti-virus of any sort on MINT? And can I scan for Windows viruses while in MINT mode? Like say my external HDD gets infected with Windows malware. Can I remove it safely while in Linux MINT? (And thus, preventing infection because the chances of Linux being infected is minimal?)
Also, the ABSOLUTE first thing I'll be doing is creating a recovery CD. I've created a recovery CD before using bigger DVDs, but now I only have DVDs which are about 500mb each. Does creating a recovery CD typically require them to be larger? I have MANY 500mb cds, compared to the 4 already used 2gb DVDs.
Speaking of which, can I install Linux MINT through those smaller CDs as well?
And, if under the worst case scenario I must use the Recovery CD to restore factory settings, will it also affect my data on Linux?
Lastly, a question about my friend. My friend has two cracks he uses for photoshop and fl studio. He uses them after completely formatting a computer (and thus no personal information stored) but after installing security software. They contain malware when launched however. Despite that, between Avast and Malware Bytes, he is able to clean up the Malware with ease using those two scanners. He hasn't told me which particular malware it was, but he has said that after getting rid of them (and deleting the cracks), he has gone on for months without receiving any malware (let alone anything related to the ones he cleaned up.), and everything works perfectly. No accounts of his has ever been hacked either. He has been doing this for years, I think.
Is what my friend is doing considered stupid in despite that? I'm not asking a question related to cracks, but rather if it's stupid to purposely use a program which gives you what seems "small-fry" malware, and removing it before any personal info is placed on the computer? Is any harm actually done if there are no noticeable effects of traces left of the malware according to MBAM, Spybot S&D, and Avast?
Edited by hamluis, 15 February 2012 - 11:47 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to AV, Firewall, etc.